JPIC Directorate Organizes Working Groups to Tackle Issues

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

Fran Eskin-Royer and Erick López, standing in the center, during the recent JPIC Directorate meeting. (Photo courtesy of Jud Weiksnar)

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Province’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate met at Holy Name College this month to address the mandates of the Order and of the 2017 Provincial Chapter. The friars and lay partners concluded their Jan. 9 meeting by organizing into four working groups: Migration; Care for Creation/Climate Change/Mining; Race and White Privilege; and Nonviolent Peacemaking. These groups will gather information and come up with recommendations, which will be distributed by the JPIC Office to various constituencies including the Provincial Council, Holy Name Province friars, JPIC local contacts, other Provincial committees and directorates, and the Order’s JPIC Office in Rome.

“To cut down on our carbon footprint and travel expenses, most meetings will take place via telephone or internet conferencing,” said Jud Weiksnar, OFM, chair of the directorate.

The directorate comprises friars and laypeople from throughout the Province who represent a variety of interests and ministries. They serve three-year terms. The lay members are Gary Burton, OFS, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va.; Maryann Crea, staff member at Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham, N.C.; Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi and a resident of the Clare House Franciscan Community in Washington, D.C.; and Jackie Schramm, director of social justice at St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J.

Friars who are members of the 2017- 2020 JPIC Directorate, in addition to Jud, are Juan de la Cruz Turcios, of Chicago, Steven DeWitt, OFM, and Ramon Razon, OFM, of Philadelphia, Kyle Haden, OFM, of Allegany, N.Y., Ignatius Harding, OFM, of Triangle, Va., Julian Jagudilla, OFM, of New York City, Robert Menard, OFM, of Clemson, S.C., Joseph Nangle, OFM, of Washington, D.C., Ronald Pecci, OFM, of the Bronx, N.Y., Paul Santoro, OFM, of Orlando, Fla., and Erick López, OFM, of Silver Spring, liaison with the Provincial Council.

Assisting the directorate are Russ Testa and Fran Eskin-Royer of the HNP JPIC Office, which is located in Silver Spring. Testa has served as director of the office since 2000.

“As the directorate works to engage the Province and our ministries, provide resources, and network with non-HNP partners, information will appear regularly in HNP Today, on the HNP Justice and Peace webpage, and in the HNP JPIC Facebook group,”  said Jud, who is stationed in Buffalo. “The directorate will deal with immediate concerns, as well as long-range issues.”

At their recent meeting, the directorate members were warmly welcomed by the Holy Name College friars. “Our animated discussions of important and urgent JPIC issues were deepened by opportunities to pray together contemplatively and to share our experiences of how we first learned the distinction between charity and justice,” said Jud. “At the end of the day, we were treated to a feast of homemade pupusas, thanks to postulant Carlos Portillo and the Holy Name College kitchen staff.”

This summer, the local contacts around the Province who work on JPIC initiatives will gather at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in North Carolina for an annual retreat to share ideas and best practices.

Friars and others who have questions, comments or suggestions about JPIC-related topics are encouraged to contact members of the JPIC Directorate, said Jud. News can also be shared online, using the Holy Name Province JPIC Facebook group.

Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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